National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2016 WOR Day 2: Nutrition

Ribbon symbol for survivor next to the Wildland Fire Leadership logoWeek of Remembrance June 30-July 6, 2016


Humans are unique in the ability to expend energy for many hours.

Wildland Firefighters = 2800-6200 Calories per day

Energy is used in the body in 3 pathways: Immediate, Anaerobic, and Aerobic

Regardless of the pathway, it comes down to carbohydrates (sugar) and fats

words carbs and fats with arrows pointing to engergy, glucose pointing to a photo of a firefighter felling a pine tree with a chainsaw.

When performing long arduous activities, it is important to eat small amounts frequently throughout the work shift.  The wildland firefighter sack lunch was designed to be eaten in small amounts throughout the day to maintain a constant flow of carbs and fats into the body.

A firefighter should consume:

Food Item Light work
(2,200 calories)
Arduous work
(4,400 calories)
Fruit 4 servings (2 cups) 12 servings (6 cups)
Vegetables 4 to 5 servings
(2 to 2 ½  cups)
8 servings (4 cups)
Whole grains* 6 servings 12+ servings
Milk or yogurt 1 to 2 cups 5 cups
Meat, fish** 6 ounces 10 ounces

*Whole grains and enriched or whole-grain products.
**Meat, fish, or meat substitute.

  image of mountains with nutrition indications at different levels of the mountain.

The topics for the NWCG “Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance” have been drawn from the Human Performance Optimization course taught as a part of the USFS Apprentice Academy in cooperation with the Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) and is rooted in the desire to prepare wildland fire personnel to optimally manage themselves and others at any given time. Review and resources have been contributed by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, NIFC External Affairs, the Wildland Fire annual refresher group, and the Wildland Fire Leadership Subcommittee.


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2023

Have an idea or feedback?
Share it with the NWCG 6MFS Subcommittee.

Follow NWCG on Twitter  and Facebook